By Eric LeVin, Chief Technology Officer, AdvantEdge Analytics
Simply attending an event like Microsoft Inspire reminds you how incredible it is to be a part of the tech community today. Being on stage at such an event… well that’s a whole other ballgame.
More than 20,000 technology leaders from every conceivable industry attended the Inspire conference in Las Vegas. They came to get a first look at the innovations being created by the best and the brightest in the Microsoft Partner Network. AdvantEdge Analytics was among those invited to demonstrate – an incredible honor, and if I’m being honest, a little intimidating.
Lucky for me, I was joined on stage by one of the leading innovators in the credit union space, BCU, and the credit union’s VP/Chief Data Officer, John Sahagian. BCU has been an incredible partner throughout the development of our platform, helping us understand what it will take to enable business agility from the credit union perspective. The level of data maturity BCU has ushered in at their credit union is leading in the nation.
Aside from overcoming the usual demo jitters, John and I faced another potential hurdle. Because the audience came from such a wide range of industries and backgrounds, we wondered how well they would be able to relate to the credit union industry’s intensely fragmented ecosystem.
To help wrap minds around the challenge our industry faces, we explained how each of today’s 5,800 credit unions is composed of 10 or more systems. Every one of those systems is offered to the industry by 10 to 15 different providers, each offering unique levels of customization to every credit union.
Aside from the obvious data challenges this presents, it also makes it difficult for credit unions to plug new solutions into their systems. Solution providers, too, have difficulty scaling quickly within the credit union industry because of the intense level of custom engineering and credit union subject matter expertise each implementation requires. Neither of these circumstances bodes well for the industry’s pursuit of digital transformation nor for business agility.
Enter AdvantEdge Analytics and Microsoft.
Through our relationship with Microsoft, our team has created the AdvantEdge Analytics™ Data Platform, which enables one consistent way to view all credit union data. Built on top of Microsoft Azure, our solution is capable of deploying a completely new, security-first data management solution for a credit union in minutes. Or as John put in during the Inspire demo, “What you did in minutes took us years to do on our own.” (Stay tuned to our News and Insights page to read more of what John shared from the Inspire stage).
As it turns out, the fragmented ecosystem we were concerned may not translate for our audience was uniformly appreciated. Nearly everyone we spoke with after the presentation could relate to the challenges of innovating on top of outdated and disparate legacy systems.
Attendees of our session said they were inspired by the invention of a single platform capable of seamlessly installing solutions to empower an entire industry vertical. John and I realized we had hit a nerve; that the tech community was hungry for innovation that fosters the notion of an ecosystem. It really begins to resonate when you imagine an ecosystem powerful enough to expand exponentially, transforming an entire industry for the betterment of consumers’ financial lives.
That is our vision at AdvantEdge Analytics, and it was thrilling to see it begin to proliferate in such an influential ecosystem of technology giants.
Although I’m tempted to say Inspire was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, the fact is I’m getting ready to do it all over again this week. As I type, I’m boarding a plane to Seattle for the Microsoft Business Applications Summit Microsoft Business Appications Summit where I get the honor of introducing this incredible platform to even more innovators in the tech community.
To listen to a recording of Eric and John’s Inspire demo, click here.
AdvantEdge Analytics is the data analytics arm of our business. It’s the only credit union data and analytics solution provider offering data transformation strategy and actionable insights via data management, reporting and performance management and predictive analytics. Learn more about it at advantedgeanalytics.com.